Microsoft’s own Senior Director of Windows Phone Developer Experience tweeted his phone number on Thursday.
Brandon Watson, known for his passionate developer interaction, shared his office number with Twitter followers on Thursday. Watson oversees Microsoft’s Windows Phone developer experience and is responsible for the tools and application platform that developers hook into. The Microsoft worker invited Windows Phone 7 developers to call him at 2:30PM PST to discuss Windows Phone development.
Watson is experimenting with ways to reach out to developers and put a human face on Microsoft’s Windows Phone development. Did he get any takers? Sure, he says a few people called during the short 30 minute stint to discuss developer features. “The question we have to ask ourselves – do we want to win or not?” said Watson in a chat with WinRumors. “If the answer is yes, you then ask if what you “have been doing in the past” is the best, most efficient path to get there. If not, make a change. Be different.”
Microsoft’s developer focus is impressive to say the least. Despite delays with its first platform update, “NoDo”, developers have a lot to look forward to this year. Microsoft’s new Nokia partnership is a great opportunity for new and existing developers as more and more consumers take advantage of Windows Phone. Nokia said recently that it plans to ship Windows Phone branded devices to developers when they are available later this year. Nokia is currently engineering Windows Phone devices and is expected to wait for “Mango”, the next version of Windows Phone, until it unveils them later this year. “Mango”, the codename for what will likely be named Windows Phone 7.5, is currently in the beta stages at Microsoft. The software giant revealed a number of new features in February that will ship as part of its Windows Phone point release later this year, it plans to reveal more on May 24.
Microsoft is also trying to woo iPhone developers to Windows Phone 7. The company recently released a new Windows Phone API mapping tool to make it easier for iPhone developers to port their applications across. Along with the tools, Microsoft is also helping with marketing. The company is offering free merchandizing slots to Windows Phone developers. The slots will allow Windows Phone developers to get their application featured on Microsoft’s marketplace.
Microsoft has over 40,000 Windows Phone developers, a figure that grows by over 1,000 a week. Microsoft’s Windows Phone Marketplace now boasts over 15,000 applications, having launched on October 26 with just 1,000 applications available. Six months later and the platform has increased impressively. The company appears to be building up a good momentum amongst application developers.
“We are, and have been, being different about how we have approached building this ecosystem,” says Watson, and you can’t argue there.